Whatever’s Clever/Sierra Reader stayed on top of the Men’s Division of the Bishop Adult Softball League with a 9-5 win over West Bishop. Rapid fire bats and even faster defense kept West Bishop at bay through six-and-a-half innings.
Clever remains undefeated in the division at 7-0; West Bishop had been knocking on Clever’s door in second place but fell 4-2.
West Bishop had the first shot at the plate and a taste of Clever’s defense. The team got its first hit, a long single into center field, at the top of the lineup. But then Clever’s defense reared its head as Brad Weaver sent the ball to the short stop who rifled it to first for a double play.
West Bishop recouped, scored a run and took a brief 0-1 lead.
Clever’s Mike Mayo walked, but was tagged out at second on a fielder’s choice, handing A.J. Garcia a single. Cubby Salque doubled Garcia home.
With two runners on base and 2 outs, Scott Gadea doubled home 2 runs and Taylor Neubauer doubled home the final score of the inning, giving Clever a 4-1 lead.
West Bishop’s stint at the plate was short-lived. Earl Lent’s long lob ended up in the mitt of Chris Connolly for the first out. The next batters had no better luck, with an out at first and a line drive to infielder Dean Chavez, bringing Clever back on offense.
West Bishop’s defense held Clever to 1 run in the bottom of the second: a sprint by Salque, giving the team a 5-1 advantage.
With 1 out in the top of the third, Bishop’s Bob Vega singled, then fell victim to another double play initiated by Clever’s short stop, Garcia.
With a re-charged offense, Clever’s lineup started with a Gadea walk and a single from Neubauer. John Harris singled to load the bases bringing Brandon Parker to the plate. Parker’s double brought two runners home. Mayo hit a 1-RBI single, scoring Parker before West Bishop logged the final two outs for a 8-1 Clever lead.
West Bishop had two big hits taken away in the outfield. Then, Rich Dondero got on base with a single and scored on Watterson’s triple but the surge ended before Watterson could make it home.
Behind 8-2, West Bishop’s defense took its frustration out on Clever, three-up-three- down in the bottom of the fourth.
Despite the strong defensive showing, Bishop’s offense managed only 1 hit and no runs in the top of the fifth to maintain the 8-2 deficit.
Clever had one more run in them. Neubauer came in as a designated runner and scored on a double off the bat of Garcia, the last Clever score of the game, extending the team’s lead 9-2.
West Bishop went back to work in the top of the sixth with a 1-RBI single from Dondero. In the final open seventh inning, C.J. Barlow hit a 2-RBI double to narrow the lead 9-5 but the gap was too wide to span and West Bishop headed home with the loss.